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PHOENIX: More than just a project

HANSA-FLEX beschleunigt mit neuer technischer Basis und optimierten Geschäftsprozessen die digitale Transformation. Mit dem Projekt PHOENIX treibt HANSA-FLEX den digitalen Wandel im Unternehmen voran.

Into the digital future with PHOENIX

PHOENIX created the technical platform for the switch to the modern ERP system SAP S/4 HANA, which was completed at the beginning of the year. As part of PHOENIX, we also optimised 125 processes to expand our digital portfolio. Customers will benefit above all from improved service quality, faster response times and greater product availability.
“The PHOENIX project is consistently aligned with the growing demands of our customers for our digital service portfolio,” explains Project Manager Alexandra Geibel, adding: “We bring the performance and flexibility of our IT systems to a level fit for the future, while putting all our globally applicable business processes to the test in order to identify which work processes can be improved or made more efficient through digitalisation. This forms the foundation for the successful implementation of our entire digitalisation strategy.”

100 employees from all areas of the company

The project manager has an experienced IT manager at her side for this highly complex task. Multi-project manager Hans-Joachim Dietrich has worked in the background as the coordinator orchestrating all the IT-associated projects in the HANSA‑FLEX AG digitalisation programme. We also have various external partners and more than 100 HANSA‑FLEX AG national and international specialists and managerial staff actively involved in the PHOENIX Project. An internal change management team (KOMPASS) made up of experienced colleagues from different departments oversee the change processes and support the communication between project managers and the individual departments.

36 main and 186 sub-processes put to the test

“Working with the departments involved, we have intensively analysed the processes, identifying the process owner and process experts responsible for each process,” says Alexandra Geibel. “We held workshops, identified the pain points and focused on understanding the problems and improvement opportunities in our existing processes, established priorities and worked out possible approaches to their solution.”
All the process workshops planned for 2020 were completed on schedule and the whole process matrix – an overview of the important national and international business processes of HANSA‑FLEX AG – was fully revised. The relevant specialist departments, project managers and the overseeing KOMPASS team will be responsible for the operational implementation of the planned changes over the next two years or so.

The technical part in the planning phase is now complete

The work for the actual migration of the SAP systems to SAP S/4 began in the spring of 2021. The technical migration was due to be completed by the end of 2021 in Germany and in all 27 subsidiaries in other countries connected to the SAP system. After the scheduled go-live, further process optimisations will follow from the beginning of 2022, pressing forward with the continual further development of the system.

Update: 2022

PHOENIX and its numerous preliminary and sub-projects were divided into four phases. We completed the project initialisation and the planning phase in 2020, followed by the technical changeover at the end of 2021. In parallel, further pain points and fields of action were identified worldwide. After a short period for consolidation, by the end of 2022 we plan to have revised, implemented and finally incorporated 36 main and 186 sub-processes in all areas of the company into the new SAP systems on S/4 HANA.

A modern technical basis

However, process management is only half of the project. The technical basis for the digital transformation also had to be created. HANSA‑FLEX therefore decided to renew the ERP software used to control the company's processes. “Digitalisation means that more and more business processes have to take place in the cloud to enable easy access from anywhere in the world with mobile devices,” says Alexandra Geibel. “SAP S/4 HANA paves the way here for us to drive the forward digital transformation within the company.” Even without this, a change would have been inevitable: SAP will support the previous version SAP R/3 ECC only for the next few years. 

The update is a major challenge

An update project is always a huge challenge but in this case the ERP system also controls almost all processes in the company. The preparations were correspondingly detailed. The relevant team developed a migration strategy based on comprehensive compatibility tests and data checks. The first steps were to move the SAP system infrastructure onto the Microsoft Azure Cloud and introduce the new HANA database. The work on the actual migration to SAP S/4 HANA began in the spring of 2021. On time, in line with the plan and almost without a hitch, the new system went live at the turn of the year – in Germany and all 27 connected foreign subsidiaries. 

The customer will be the main beneficiary

The PHOENIX project and the associated process optimisations will significantly improve service quality for HANSA‑FLEX customers. Online services such as hose management or the online shop use the SAP database and will become even faster and more stable as a result of the changeover. Service technicians from our Rapid Hydraulic Service and Industrial Service also use data from the system via mobile devices to prepare for deployments or to store documentation on orders. The higher performance of our systems also has positive effects here. The decisive factor is that PHOENIX accelerates the journey into digitalisation and, for example, also opens up the world of the Internet of Things (IoT). “We are looking forward to continually developing our products and services further and thus supporting our customers in the long term,” concludes Alexandra Geibel. 

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